When YG took to social media to reveal the Colin Kaepernick-inspired photograph used as the art for new single “Swag,” he elicited mixed responses from fans concerned that the Compton rapper’s homage may trivialize a serious call for racial justice. However, YG’s previous justice-seeking efforts and the music video’s playfulness may aid in allaying fears that he’s inadvertently misusing loaded imagery.
Just last month, YG organized a mass protest in coordination with Black Lives Matter and even donated $100,00 USD worth of food to needy Los Angelites. Furthermore, YG once called out the makers of Madden, EA, for editing Kaepernick’s name out of an in-game song, demonstrating ongoing support for the social justice advocate. Whether these actions justify YG’s Kaepernick outfit seen in “Swag” is up to fans to decide, however.
The bouncy two-and-a-half minute song sees YG donning Kaepernick’s 49ers uniform and afro alongside a shirtless suit, 4hunnid basketball jersey and more. YG’s backup dancers range from adult women to jovial children to Tyga and Snoop Dogg, both sporting their own afros and partially-buttoned plaid shirts. “Swag” isn’t YG’s first tribute to one of his peers, as the video for “Laugh Now Kry Later!” included an ode to Nipsey Hussle.
Watch YG’s “Swag” above and for more protest-indebted imagery, check out Tom Morello’s “Stand Up.”